So it’s Monday and your feet are cold and you are staring at your second cup of coffee wondering if you’ve just become immune. You need some Kid Cadaver in your head! These LA live show-favorites have been on TBE before but I feel strongly that their self-titled EP deserves its own post. 6 tracks of instantly energizing and infectious indie rock jams. EP closer “Stick Around” has been my favorite lately. But I don’t ever skip a track to get there. Enjoy the ride!
and now i’m letting you know
New Zealand’s Lorde is not just another indie-pop-girl riding the trend (even though she is Grimes-approved). Even though she is just 16, I feel like something great is going on here. This post is weeks late because I couldn’t figure out which track I liked best. So dive into her waves of tiny swagger and get funky with the chopped beats of “Million Dollar Bills,” the slow burn of “Royals,” or the laid back synth bounce of the title-track. Its all good in Lorde’s hood.
when i had my eye, staring at the sun, growing old and wise, but staying young and dumb
We’ve already been massaged by the jittery bongo & guitar shuffle of American Royalty’s mellowed out single “Honey & Queen” and now the LA group has dropped the Prismatic EP which has 4 more tracks of their psyched-out groove rock.”Hungry” follows EP-opener “Honey” and is the real party starter. Gutars shred over whiplash a rhythm section and it makes me want to rock. Then they get tender on “Mariah” before bringing the slow burn weirdo funk on “EVO.” Its an excellent document of the band’s continually evolving sound and proof that there are more ideas going on in their heads then they will ever be able to record. Get on this adventure while you can.
i see you hidden in the night
- Who: Keegan DeWitt (TBE alum!) & Jeremy Bullock
- What: Danceable indie rock, like Generationals, Kisses, Young Empires
- Where: Nashville, TN + Facebook
- When: Buy debut LP Youth now.
- Why: First of all, I’m sorry. Sometimes I find an album that takes me by such surprise, that makes me so satisfied with it’s sounds, that I keep it to myself for far too long. I’m caught between the disbelief that it is as good as I think, and the nerves that come with writing a review of an album I love. It’s all illogical and foolish at best, but its the way I am. I’m like the partner that loves you so much that they don’t even know how to show it. Sorry Keegan and Jeremy, I do love you. And I love the beautiful baby Youth you’ve raised into this world.
My recent favorite tracks “Thunder Clatter,” “Straight No Turns,” and “Jonti” are are the perfect triangulation of their sound somewhere between the shaggy indie rock appeal of Generationals and the synth dance shades of Kisses. Hell, “Wishing Well” even throws some 80s nods to classic Peter Gabriel. Wild Cub draw rich water from a variety of wells but the cocktail they mix is undeniably their own.
but all your sighing heavily and semi-silent mutterings are another guarantee that it’s too late to stop me
Peter & Kerry’s “Knees” is one of my favorite sad-sack breakup folk songs in recent years so it was a pleasant surprise to hear them pepping things up for the sonically fun yet still break-up-y “Split For The City.” The fun kept coming when months late I finally got my hands on their debut full length La Trimouille. The album takes the elements of “Knees” that made it so infectious and blends them with a variety of fun and quirky songs stylings and a dash of hip-hop delivery that all adds up to and endlessly pleasing album. Even though the lyrical content is often classically English and mopey I can’t help but Read more
we loved and we laughed, thought we would last
It’s been a year since we heard from Sweden’s sneaky sex-groove masters Newtimers so it’s about time we got some more magic. The Ego EP just dropped and if you and yours need some heat during these frosty times then throw these jams on the fire. It’s like Prince, only relevant. Like The Weeknd, only less depressing. Like sex itself, only less complicated. Even breakup songs like “Heavy Weather” are bound to inspire one last hurrah. Oh, and we get a dance-off video cut to “She’s A Gun”? Sexy women. Sexy outfits. Sexy dancing. The band can even be in it. In the background.
we’re never gonna away, from dreaming of the good ol days
- Who: Jonathan Clay & Zach Chance
- What: Southern slanted Indie Rock, like Brown Shoe, Kings of Leon, Y Luv
- Where: Los Angeles, CA + Facebook
- When: The Knives & Pipes EP is out now.
- Why: Jamestown Revival play music that you can feel the history in. And not just of the south-folk tinged genre itself, but in the songs and stories they tell. Its no surprise that Jonathan and Zach go way back. Growing up together in Austin, Texas, they have built their chemistry through years of friendship. “Ain’t it a Shame” is my favorite song on their solid 4 song EP. I think. It’s hard to pick. Even harder when you see them live, which I was lucky enough to do in someone’s living room at a recent Sofar Sounds event in Venice. Pretty amazing.
i can hear your heartbeat when you’re dancing next to me
- Who: Andrew Rodriguez
- What: Tropical summer pop, like Viceroy, Twinsy, St. Lucia
- Where: Portland, Oregon + Facebook
- When: The Forever EP is out now for free!
- Why: Don’t talk about “Helpless.” Just listen. And move if you must (you must). Know that Poindexter is sitting on the kind of talent that is criminally under-appreciated at the moment. Perhaps even by himself! The rest of the Forever EP is fun, for sure, but nothing as magical as this three and a half minute brain cruise. And since it is a cruise, you’ll need a sunning playlist. Throw these remixes on there.
which are you waiting for?
- Who: Mikey Maramag
- What: Oversized dream pop, like Toro Y Moi, KidsOf88, Humans
- Where: San Francisco, CA + Facebook
- When: Buy Boracay Planet now.
- Why: Blackbird Blackbird was booked by Joel and scheduled to play day 4 of our SXSW showcases but a transportation disaster kept Mikey from the venue for hours. Had I heard him play that day I guarantee you this post would have happened months ago. I just didn’t know what I was missing. After finally tracking down his latest EP I was immediately blown away by “It’s A War.” What a rollicking piece of slightly dark tropical pop. The rest of Boracay Planet is full of shuffling and twitching beats under dreamy guitars that blend together brilliantly. Especially “Happy With You” (& this great Yalls remix of it here!) So it turns out the guy has been making music for years. His Bandcamp is a treasure trove of previous releases. Cheers to many more!
y’all can’t stop me, i go hard like i’ve got an 808 in my heart beat, and i’m eating at the beat, like you gave a little speed to a great white shark on shark week
If you’ve caught any of our posts on Macklemore & Ryan Lewis then you know the kind of freshness these two are bringing to the rap game. Macklemore ‘s intensely personal, honest, and and often funny storytelling. Ryan Lewis’ impeccable and unique production. It’s really quite remarkable. Independent since day one, they’ve obviously been courted by major labels but as “Jimmy Iovine” lays out, the current state of affairs in that world is dismal for the artist. The duo blazed on alone and The Heist is their opus. But don’t let the commercial success on the backs of a legion of loyal fans fool you. This is a fantastic album. If you never thought you liked hip-hop you will still find something here to love. Macklemore brilliantly balances his signature heavy topic songwriting with goofball party songs that keep the album from getting bogged down in it’s own seriousness. Both “Same Love” and “Thrift Shop” are shaping up to be top songs of the year but for such different reasons. But one common thread. Two really. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.
lets do this together, i want you more than ever
- Who: Ryan & Anthony
- What: Alt-electro rock, like The Big Pink, Morning Parade, Joywave
- Where: Los Angeles + Facebook
- When: Buy the Born To Live, Born To Love EP now.
- Why: Parade of Lights is an apt name for the band making this stadium sized jam that was built for lights shows and all-out sing-a-longs. Los Angeles, can we please get into this guys big time so when they play November 12th at The Bootleg we can all get rowdy? “Flash of Light” & “Talk To You” are other big poppy highlights on the EP. Get into it.
you’ve not run out of love yet, there is plenty left
in this city i know in this city i call my home
- Who: Don & friends
- What: Big dirty dance, like Joe and Will Ask?, DJ Kue, Portasound
- Where: Amsterdam + Facebook
- When: Buy the Lights Out EP now.
- Why: The first Don Diablo track I ever heard hit my iTunes the day after I started this website. Ever since then its been a solid love-fest for the Dutch beat master. He’s always got more love for his remixes on TBE but his solo stuff hasn’t gone un-followed. After a few years of building his fanbase organically it seems like DonnyD is finally poised to blow up the way he should. Lights Out EP is a tight little collection of dance jams that kicks down the door with the rowdy “Lights Out Hit” and continues with the grand ode to hometowns “The Golden Years.” “Memories” takes the EP in another great direction and is slowly becoming my new favorite. Diablo has always shown range and while its exactly what keeps him interesting I hope that people can wrap their mind around it and get into these tracks.
once we say forever that’s the first lie we tell each other
I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Frank + Derol live a handful of times now and they are definitely coming into their own. Still a little wet behind the ears but their current tour with Wolf Gang should go a long way to strengthening their stage show. They certainly have no shortage of jams. Unfortunately only 4 of them are included on their debut EP. “Let It Go” is the one that makes me roll my windows down and sing along at top volume like a spastic. Get into it.
you’ll taste heaven and you’ll taste hell, and those who doubt you will doubt themselves
- Who: Tom, Lawrence, Mike, Martyn, Thom
- What: Genre, like XX
- Where: London, UK + Facebook
- When: Buy debut album Here We Are now.
- Why: “True Romance” is one of the great songs of the year. It stands strong on its own and lends itself beautifully to some stellar remixes, like the one above. If Citizens!’ worthwhile contributions stopped there it would still be something appreciated. Luckily for us they have more swinging indie dance rock for us. Here We Are is chock full of bendy baselines and hopping percussion, making a set of jams sure to start up your next party. Take “She Said” for example, I just hit play and already there are people knocking. And I don’t even have enough dip!
what do i do? i’m in love with you and i feel like a fool
- Who: Drew Harris
- What: Bedroom space pop, like Arrange, Youth Lagoon, The xx
- Where: NYC via Vancouver + Bandcamp
- When: Buy Blank Mind Empty Heart now.
- Why: While Germany Germany has been a Burning Ear favorite for years, Drew Harris and his beautful electronic sounds have gone under-appreciated among most. It’s understandable, though. Harris doesn’t bow to anyone’s expectation or genre boundaries. He follows his heart and has evolved down more pathways than any other artist I have followed on this site. With that said, his latest album is another journey through a mellower and more ambient sound than some of his previous dance jams. I just put on the album to write this review and 90 seconds in heard my friend say “This is nice! Who is this?” One more fan!